Zriltac felt like he has been waiting since forever. As a messenger of the Aquatian Defense, it was his responsibility to wait every day at the black, huge metallic gates for the Raiders to arrive. The Aquatian Riders had to scout everyday at 6 am and 6 pm and bring back news from any suspicious movement. It was an extremely risky job, but they were more than prepared to do it. It was not his habit worrying too much, as he knew that the exploring quests of the Riders used to vary in time and it also depended on how the sea wanted to behave that day. Usually, after he spoke with them, he had to communicate the news back to the authorities. Most of the time it was him just looking at the city, humming, waiting for the scouting group to come back. This city, which belonged to the magnificent Greater Aquatia, had nothing to compare it with; enormous crystalline buildings mixed with the beige and brown of the machinery that surrounded them made an incredibly unique landscape. Their society was enormously based on steam power, but they managed to camouflage the austerity and dullness of the machines with modern architecture. The city was art by itself.
Zriltac always felt proud about it, and the surrounding oceans, its crystal-looking water, its citizens, every form of aquatic life; he always felt proud about living where he lived. Sadly, he knew that now everyone shared this cosmovision. Creatures all over the world always tried to harm, attack, destroy and even conquer any territory that belonged to the Greater Aquatia.
Of course, the conquering bit was not something easy to do, as their army had
nothing to envy to any other country, state or folk; but there was one silent enemy they have always been facing and fearing, and that Zriltac always had in in the back of his mind: people of different species just tended to throw everything in the ocean, and he could never grasp, no matter how hard he thought, why any creature would do that. The oceans were something beautiful to be proud of, either the Atlantic, the Pacific, or any body of water in general, and they didn’t respect it. From simple pieces of papers to toxic waste, there were even part of the oceans he knew that not him nor any kind of fauna could live in. As if the Ocean was merely a huge trashpile to those above.
This made his blood boil with anger and impotence. He would even prefer -but never said it aloud- that his enemy was something physical, not abstract: they couldn’t attack every person that harmed the ocean, but they could attack an enemy during battle. This new kind of adversary was silently destroying his environment and his way of living during a long and endless period of time, and they couldn’t do anything about it.
He frowned. Zriltac tended to gesture a lot while thinking. No, there was actually an end, and the deadline was set by these heartless beings: whenever the ocean and Mother Nature decided that they couldn’t take it anymore, life underwater would be just a past dream. An illusion. He, his friends, and all the citizens of the Greater Aquatia would just die without their only elemental resource: water. But it was fine, right? Who cared about them? Who cared about the Aquatians that were either destroyed by trash or worse, by foreign and powerful beings?
And that made his mind move to what was another issue.
That was the most commonly used word to refer to the small fortress of monsters that lived close to Zruktac's home city. They were an outlying outpost of beings with physic powers that claimed superiority over the rest of the species, or that was what was written in the books. Zriltac was always creeped out by their bare mention. They were soulless, and they communicated telepathically. And he was told that they loathe everything that lived. The strange aspect of this was that there have been isolated attacks on the surface, but they seem latent creatures, distant from this plane, even. He has also known of fellow Aquatians who got into their territory and he never heard about any of them again.
Zriltac interrupted his thoughts when he heard the sound of the Riders. He turned at the entrance of the gates, showing his greenish scale body out of the city borders, as he needed to confirm it was them before they entered. He frowned, and the tentacles that projected from his jaw looked stiff. The Raiders came back in silence, pale… they looked strange. He immediately asked, “What happened?” - and then, the first in line, who was the Captain of this scouting group, answered with a shaky voice: “There are no more of them. They are gone. The Axonate are gone”.